Nationals release 2012 schedule

The Washington Nationals today released their 2012 schedule, which includes 81 home dates, beginning with Washington's 79th home opener since 1901 on Thursday, April 12 vs. Cincinnati and is highlighted by a three-game interleague visit from the New York Yankees and holiday matchups against the San Francisco Giants (Independence Day) and Chicago Cubs (Labor Day). The Nationals begin the 2012 season on the road on Thursday, April 5 at Wrigley Field.

The Yankees last visited The District, June 16-18, 2006, but the Nationals won the final two contests to claim the series, which was played at RFK Memorial Stadium. The visit will be the Bronx Bombers' first to Nationals Park.

The Nationals receive three visits apiece from all National League East rivals, including seven weekend sets against the Philadelphia Phillies (May 4-6), New York Mets (August 17-19), Atlanta Braves (June 1-3, July 20-22) and the newly-named Miami Marlins (April 20-22, August 3-5, September 7-9.

The Nationals-Orioles series at Nationals Park (May 18-20) kicks off the 2012 version of the Battle of the Beltways, as the two neighbors square off six times, with each club hosting three games. The Nationals reciprocate with a three-game visit to Oriole Park from June 22-24.

In addition to the annual home-and-home series with the Orioles and the aforementioned Yankees series, a three-game visit from the Tampa Bay Rays, June 19-21, concludes the Nationals Park portion of the 2012 interleague slate. Washington will also make interleague treks to Boston (June 8-10) and Toronto (June 11-13).

Nationals fans will enjoy 12 homestands in all, only two of which last longer than seven games. Nationals Park will twice host 11 games in 11 days: April 12-22 (Reds, Astros, Marlins) and August 29-September 9 (Cardinals, Cubs, Marlins).

Local baseball fans will notice a concentration of home dates both early and late in the season, as the Nationals will play 11 of their first 17 games at Nationals Park before capping the '12 campaign with 10 of their final 16 games played at home.

July and August--with 13 apiece--contain the most home games in a calendar month, while April has the fewest (11).

Washington's 2012 regular-season concludes at home on Wednesday, October 3, in a 1:05 p.m. tilt against the Phillies.

All dates and opponents on this schedule are subject to change.

The Nationals "Buy 2 Get 2" season ticket offer gives Nationals fans who place a deposit on two new 2012 season tickets in select seating areas two additional 2012 season tickets FREE.

The "Buy 2 Get 2" offer is limited to select seating categories, but fans can also place a deposit on new 2012 season tickets in ANY section of the ballpark. As a bonus, they will "Finish Strong" by receiving FREE tickets to all remaining games this season.

To take advantage of the "Buy 2 Get 2" and "Finish Strong" 2012 season ticket promotions, go to nationals.com/2012 or call 202.675.NATS(6287). This is a limited time offer subject to availability. Some restrictions apply.

Here is the Nationals' full schedule (times to be determined):

April:
5, 7-8: at Cubs
9-11: at Mets
12-15: vs. Reds
16-19: vs. Astros
20-22: v. Marlins
24-26: at Padres
27-29: at Dodgers

May
1-3: vs. Diamondbacks
4-6: vs. Phillies
8-10: at Pirates
11-13: at Reds
14-15: vs. Padres
16-17: vs. Pirates
18-20: vs. Orioles
21-23: at Phillies
25-27: at Braves
28-30: at Marlins

June
1-3: vs. Braves
5-7: vs. Mets
8-10: at Red Sox
11-13: at Blue Jays
15-17: vs. Yankees
19-21: vs. Rays
22-24: at Orioles
25-28: at Rockies
29-30: at Braves

July
1: at Braves
3-5: vs. Giants
6-8: vs. Rockies
13-16: at Marlins
17-19: vs. Mets
20-22: vs. Braves
23-25: at Mets
26-29: at Brewers
31: vs. Phillies

August
1-2: vs. Phillies
3-5: vs. Marlins
6-9: at Astros
10-12: at Diamondbacks
13-15: at Giants
17-19: vs. Mets
20-22: vs. Braves
24-26: at Phillies
28-29: at Marlins
30-31: vs. Cardinals

September
1-2: vs. Cardinals
3-6: vs. Cubs
7-9: vs. Marlins
10-12: at Mets
14-16: at Braves
18-20: vs. Dodgers
21-24: vs. Brewers
25-27: at Phillies
28-30: at Cardinals

October
1-3: vs. Phillies